Watercolor Calligraphy

Watercolor calligraphy. Sounds intriguing. But what is it? I recently purchased the book Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe. This book is a fantastic introduction to modern calligraphy and inspiring for those of us who have dabbled in calligraphy a bit already.

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When I first saw watercolor calligraphy in her book, I was interested but not convinced. I wasn’t sure that it was really my style. I tend to go for simple, understated art and it looked like the writing, though beautiful, was a touch on the gaudy side. But thanks to the encouragement of a few friends I decided I had to try it anyhow.

SONY DSCIt’s a lot of fun! Yes, it is more challenging than ink from an inkwell. But the delightful variety that just happens makes it worthwhile. Besides, learning a new skill will help fight off Alzheimers, right? 🙂 The thing that gives me the most difficulty is that I can’t tap my nib against the inkwell because I’m loading the nib with a brush. This left me with lots of ink blots at first. But I’m learning.

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You really can do this with the cheapest set available at Walmart. You know those Crayola sets you had when you were five. Yes, it will work. The blending happens when you add a new color to the nib before the old color is gone. So in one paper you might have ten different shades even though you only used three colors!

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I chose these colors to show the fresh green of spring. Yes, spring is coming. Even in rainy Guys Mills where we see more rain on sunshine than sun on rain.

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A Try at Pottery Painting

At the beginning of my time in Lancaster, Joy and I planned a few things we wanted to do. Our list included pottery painting, something I had never done before. I had mixed ideas–I wanted to find the perfect project and go with an idea in mind, but I also knew that it could change completely when I got there. So I let the second option happen.

I walked into the shop and almost instantly found this yarn bowl. Now, I’ve seen quite a few yarn bowls and they’ve always intrigued me, but I never justified buying one. So when I found this one I was pretty sure it was meant to be. 🙂

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These were the tools I started off with. I got my inspiration from the tiles you squirt your paint on to, but I chose a dark grey instead of the black.

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Joy painted a cake stand. All pottery needs three coats of paint or the white will show through. That’s not a problem if you do a solid color like she did, but it gets complicated if you choose to do a stencil.

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The paint gets a lot darker after it’s fired. At this point my bowl was still a medium grey. In this picture you have a better view of the inspirational tile.

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This was the scary part. I used earth tone paint. The first color I applied was oyster shell. This paint was much different from the first paint I used, and I ended up putting it on too thick the first time.

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I knew by the tile beside the paint that the paint I had chosen would end up blue, but it was really weird to paint burnt orange on my bowl!

We left our pottery there for a few weeks so they could fire it before I picked it up. It was fascinating to see the change!

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Here is Joy’s cake stand in a beautiful green.

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And my handly little yarn bowl! I was disappointed to see the dots turn into tear drops (or flower petals if you are an optimist :)), but I’m used to it now. I love putting my yarn ball in here; the ball spins around in the bowl instead of tangling up on the floor.

I can’t wait to try painting pottery again now that I have a better expectation for the end result.